IRS asking for taxpayer representatives’ personal information

By Alistair M. Nevius

Taxpayer representatives are now being asked for their Social Security number and date of birth, in addition to their Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number, so that IRS agents can verify their identity when they call the IRS. The new questions result from an updated version of Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Section 21.1.3.3, which took effect Jan. 3.

IRM Section 21.1.3.3, titled “Third Party (POA/TIA/F706) Authentication,” instructs IRS agents on how to “complete the appropriate research” to verify the identity of taxpayer representatives who indicate that they have a third-party authorization on file with the IRS, such as Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, or Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization. In the previous version of IRM Section 21.1.3.3, updated in October 2017, agents were told to ask the representative for the taxpayer’s name and taxpayer identification number (TIN), for the tax period and forms in question, and for the representative’s name and CAF number.

Under the updated procedures, however, the agent requests the representative’s Social Security number and date of birth as well. An IRS representative says this is being done to protect taxpayer information and mitigate risk to practitioners.

Although the new IRM section is not yet available on the IRS’s website, its existence has been verified by IRS personnel. The IRS says it plans to communicate the changes to practitioners in the near future.

Alistair M. Nevius (Alistair.Nevius@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA’s editor-in-chief, tax.

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